Course overview

Delivered by the triple-accredited Aston Business School, our MSc Finance and Economics programme merges key concepts in finance and economics, preparing you for a diverse range of career paths in banking, finance and government sectors. The course delves into micro and macroeconomic theories, applying these principles to practical scenarios. You will learn to critically assess the impact of policies on financial markets and the broader economy, honing skills vital for informed decision-making.

Taught by leading academics with rich industry experience, the programme offers practical insights into the financial world in a supportive, engaging environment. This approach brings the course content to life, preparing you for various roles in economics and finance post-graduation and positioning you strongly for the CFA® (Chartered Financial Analyst) Level I exam.

Oliver Wheeler MSc Finance graduate

“Aston [University] gave me the opportunity to gain work experience through the Aston Global Advantage module. I was awarded a scholarship and took part in the virtual internship scheme, working for a start-up private equity fund in London.”

Read more

Oliver Wheeler
MSc Finance
Private bank analyst, JPMorgan Chase and Co.

Why Finance and Economics at Aston University?

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Professionally affiliated
Aston University is an Affiliated University of the CFA Institute
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Clear academics
100% of students agreed that staff were good at explaining things (Finance programmes; PTES, 2023)
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Recognised for quality
Aston Business School is proud to be among 1% of business schools worldwide with triple accreditation
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Safe in our hands
Ranked top 10 in the UK for ‘graduate prospects – on track’ (Accounting and Finance; Complete University Guide, 2024)
Cerficate
Gain the advantage
Get ahead of the competition with the Aston Global Advantage professional development module
QS World University Rankings logo
66th in the world
We’ve been ranked as 66th in the world for business and management studies (QS World University Rankings By Subject 2024)

Course description

MSc Finance and Economics

Our MSc Finance and Economics programme combines rigorous economic theory with practical financial skills, preparing you for diverse careers in the global finance and economic sectors.

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What we will provide
Expert-led education at our triple-accredited business school, enriched with research-based content and interactive teaching. The Aston Global Advantage module is designed to enhance your employability through robust industry connections and key placement opportunities. Experience hands-on learning, including access to Bloomberg trading terminals, for practical insights into the field.

We are also an Adobe Creative Campus meaning you will have access to top-notch software licenses, including Adobe and Solidworks, commonly used in industry.

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What you will provide
​​​​​​​It is important to learn how to adopt a growth mindset in your studies, understanding that intelligence and success stem from applying yourself, willingness to learn and having ambition and drive to excel.

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What skills we teach
The MSc Finance and Economics programme hones essential skills for navigating complex financial and economic scenarios. It emphasises quantitative analysis, effective decision-making and hands-on experience with Bloomberg terminals. The programme fosters your ability to work in teams and enhances your practical understanding, equipping you for various financial environments after graduation.

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Career prospects
As an Aston University Finance and Economics graduate, your skill set extends beyond traditional finance, opening doors to roles in banking, investment, consultancy, fintech and economic journalism. This programme equips you for diverse opportunities in both the private and public sectors, adapting seamlessly to the evolving financial and economic landscape.

How you will learn

Our MSc Finance and Economics programme has been carefully designed to align with the demanding standards and dynamic nature of the global financial and economic industries. This programme is tailored to equip you with an extensive understanding of both finance and economics, combined with practical skills and analytical prowess, setting you up for a successful and rewarding career in these sectors.

This programme has a strong practical element. You’ll gain hands-on experience working with real-time financial, accounting and economic data, thanks to our dedicated trading room facility and industry leading software. This exposure will give you the confidence and technical capability to gain a competitive edge in the job market.

In the Aston Global Advantage module, you will enhance your employability and global citizenship through experiential learning and reflective practice. Dedicated employability support, skill-building workshops and diverse learning streams will prepare you for both academic and professional success.

At the start of your course, you will be allocated a personal tutor who can offer individual study advice and guidance. You will also benefit from access to the University Library's extensive collection of over 25,000 books and electronic journals.

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Gain the advantage

Our flagship professional development module provides a range of opportunities to apply your learning and increase your employability.

What you will learn

Our programme merges rigorous academic theory with real-world financial applications, equipping you with skills to analyse economic and financial data, and understand the dynamics between financial markets and economic policies.

In the taught stage, you will delve into advanced economic theories and financial models, sharpening your analytical and quantitative skills. You will critically evaluate policy impacts on markets and economies and adapt decision-making theories to behavioural contexts. This foundation not only enhances your problem-solving abilities but also prepares you for communicating complex financial concepts effectively in professional settings.

In the dissertation phase, you will complete a research project on a finance or economics topic of your choice, showcasing your ability to conduct independent research with a clear consideration of ethics, theory and methods.

This course offers an Exchange Partnership Second Degree Pathway, meaning you can spend an additional year at one of our international partner institutions. If successful, you will graduate with two masters degrees.

Exchange Partnership Second Degree Pathway

Lan Xu MSc Finance graduate

Well balanced

Reflecting on her time at Aston University, Lan Xu described her course as “well balanced in terms of theory and practice” with lecturers who were “very helpful”.

Postgraduate courses

Learn business, do business

Our classroom goes beyond traditional lectures, focusing instead on real-life projects and hands-on experiences.

Course objectives

  1. Equips you with the theoretical and practical skills needed to analyse economic and financial data.
  2. Provides you with an intellectually rigorous and up-to-date education in economics and finance.
  3. Enables you to critically evaluate the interactions between financial and economic spheres.
  4. Develops your analytical and problem-solving skills, and your capacity to critically comment on the theoretical foundations.
  5. Develops your ability to undertake economics and finance related quantitative analysis and present your conclusions in a clear and precise manner to both specialist and non-specialist audiences.
  6. Prepares you for careers in financial institutions, consulting firms and the relevant Civil Service departments.

Modules

Modules and learning outcomes

Taught stage modules

In the taught stage you will study the following core modules:

Module TitleCredits
Microeconomics
In this module, you will deepen your understanding of microeconomic foundations, focusing on consumer and producer theory, and apply these to real-world scenarios and policy. You will also explore the limitations of traditional microeconomic theory.
15
Macroeconomics
You will explore advanced macroeconomic theories and their applications, understanding the connection between these theories, sustainability and long-term growth. You will also learn to critically evaluate economic policies.
15
Behavioural Economics and Policy
In this module, you will discover how human behavioural biases influence economic decision-making. You will examine a range of theoretical, experimental and empirical evidence on decision-making, exploring deviations from standard economic assumptions and their implications for business strategy and policy.
15
Business Finance
In this module, you will grasp key principles and challenges in financial management, understanding factors influencing various financing forms and their pros and cons. You will also use mathematical techniques for business decisions, like share valuation and investment opportunity evaluation.
15
International Finance
In this module, you will explore the challenges faced by organisations in the global marketplace. You will focus on how the international financial environment impacts firm strategies and risk management practices, such as hedging against currency fluctuations.
15
Financial Econometrics
This module delves into the latest econometric techniques for modelling financial markets. Building on linear regression analysis, it introduces time series models for asset returns and financial market volatility.
 
The Aston Global Advantage
The Aston Global Advantage is our professional development programme that runs throughout all MSc programmes at Aston Business School. Focusing on professional development and employability, this integrated module gives you the opportunity to identify, develop and apply the key transferrable skills you will gain throughout the year.
15
Ethics in Academic Practice
This module provides an introduction to the Academic Offence framework. By completing the resources you will understand the key principles underpinning the submission of academic assignments.
0
Total105

You will choose one of the following optional modules:*

Module TitleCredits
Derivatives
This module introduces financial derivatives, including futures, forwards and options. You will learn how derivatives’ markets work, how to price derivatives using discrete and continuous time models and how to use them to hedge financial risks in a corporate environment. The course combines theory with practical experience to help you fully understand these instruments.
15
Python for Finance
Designed for finance students, this module provides practical data analysis skills to solve financial problems using Python, preparing you for advanced Python programming in the workplace.
15
Blockchain and Fintech
This module offers theoretical and technical insights into blockchain technology, a key driver in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. You will learn about its architecture, advantages and the security challenges it presents in financial markets, including payments, insurance, lending and fundraising.
15
Private Equity and Venture Capital
You will explore venture financing and raising private equity, including deal structuring, contract drafting and value creation. This module examines how private equity firms value, monitor and enhance investment returns, strategies for exiting investments and the ethical and regulatory challenges in this sector.
15
International Trade and Development
In this module, you will explore the interconnected realms of international trade and economic development. This module covers how firms operate across borders and the stages societies undergo to transition from low to high income per capita.
15

*Availability of any optional modules will be subject to staff availability and a minimum number of students who express an interest in studying the optional modules. 

Dissertation stage modules

In the dissertation stage you will study the following core modules:

Module TitleCredits
Research Methods
This module will bring you up to speed with the key statistical analysis techniques used for analysing data. The skills set you will develop will not only be relevant to draw inferences from various types of data for making policy recommendations or investment decisions but will also lay the foundations for studying advanced econometric techniques.
15
MSc Finance and Economics Research Project
You will carry out an original piece of work applying material that you have learnt in the taught element of your degree. Specific requirements will be explained relating to different degree programmes but in summary you must demonstrate both theoretical and practical knowledge of your chosen area of specialism.
45
Total60

Programme outcomes

On successful completion of both the taught and dissertation stage, you will be able to:

  • Identify and evaluate advanced economics and finance concepts, principles and tools.
  • Apply theory-based concepts, principles and tools to analyse economic and financial data.
  • Evaluate critically the impact of policies (e.g, by governments, central banks and businesses) on both financial markets and the ‘real economy’.
  • Evaluate and adapt established economic and financial decision-making theory to take account of behavioural biases affecting decision-making at both the micro and macro levels.
  • Reflect on the strengths and weaknesses of statistical models and infer suitable adjustments for analysis and evaluation.
  • Explain and appraise the interactions between financial markets and the rest of the economy with respect to the main macroeconomic variables and the state of enterprises.
  • Comment on the importance of the well-informed use of relevant data and recommend methods to overcome challenges and limitations when no perfect match is available.
  • Demonstrate communication (oral, written, and presentation skills) and communicate technical analysis and its results to different audiences.
  • Develop and demonstrate employability skills, such as leadership in problem-solving, negotiations, market awareness and motivational skills.
  • Demonstrate awareness of ethical and sustainability issues within the field of finance, as well as wider social and management issues and cultural diversity within a global context.
  • Undertake independent research by formulating research questions.
  • Conduct analysis by applying finance tools and techniques to draw conclusions and recommendations.

We may update our courses to reflect best practices and academic developments. If we do, we’ll let you know of any changes at the earliest opportunity by updating our course webpages. If you have already received an offer, we’ll write to you directly to let you know of the changes.


 

Entry requirements

One of the following:

  • 2:2 (lower second-class honours) degree or equivalent
  • Equivalent overseas degree recognised by Aston University (see international students tab below for more information)

Subject specific requirements

We encourage applications from those with a background in economics, engineering, finance, mathematics, statistics or related disciplines. However, if you do not hold a degree in one of these subjects, you may still be eligible for the programme if you can evidence prior studies in mathematics or statistics within your degree or at A Level for home students. Prior studies in mathematics/statistics/quantitative modules should be at a minimum grade of 50%.

You will also need to provide:

  • A professional reference
    • If you are a current student or recent graduate (within the last 2-3 years), we will ask for an academic reference
    • If you are currently employed and not a recent graduate, we will ask for a professional reference
  • An official academic transcript of your university grades to date
  • A completed application form.

Aston University is a diverse, close community and welcomes international students on many of our postgraduate programmes. Students from over 120 countries choose to study with us every year. Based in the centre of Birmingham, Aston is not only a great place to study but also a great place to live.

Qualifications in your country

For details of equivalent qualifications in your country, use our area pages below:

English language requirements

Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to provide evidence of an English language qualification.

English language requirements

How to apply

Aston University provides a range of opportunities for international students to join our community and study on our campus. A key part of our strategy is our relationships with teaching partners, providing multiple pathways to Aston.

Aston’s professional work placements can improve your chance of securing a graduate job. Placements give you experience, confidence and opportunities and, as an Aston student, you’ll be better prepared for your future career. One of the great things about Aston is our focus on employability. Our close links with businesses, industries and professions make this possible.

Find out more about applying

Post-study work visa

Aston University welcomed the creation of a new Graduate Immigration Route which enables international students to remain in the UK for two years after you complete your studies to find work. This new post-study work visa applies to international students completing full-time undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

Graduate Immigration Route

Pathway programmes

If you don’t meet our entry requirements, we have a range of pathway programmes offered by our partner, ONCAMPUS Aston, which you can complete to progress onto one of our degrees.

We recognise the value of extensive professional experience. If you do not have the academic qualifications but have extensive and relevant professional experience and a proven ability to succeed, we would welcome your application.

The information contained on this website details the typical entry requirements for this course for the most commonly offered qualifications.

Applicants with alternative qualifications may wish to enquire with the relevant admissions teams prior to application whether or not their qualifications are deemed acceptable. For less commonly encountered qualifications this will be judged on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the academic admissions tutor.

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Speak to our Admissions Team

If you have any questions about the application process please get in touch with our postgraduate admissions team:

Email: pgadmissions@aston.ac.uk

Call: 0121 204 3200 (Please note this line is open Monday-Friday between 09:30-16:30)

Prof Christos Ioannidis MSc Finance and Economics programme director

Meet your programme director

Professor Christos Ioannidis
Programme Director, MSc Finance and Economics

If you have any questions about the course or modules you will be studying, you can get in touch via email and I will be happy to answer your queries.

Fees and scholarships

Course fees

UK students
(2024/25)

Annual tuition fees:£12,000

International students
(2024/25)

Annual tuition fees:£23,500

More information on fees

The United Kingdom government has confirmed that European Union (EU), other European Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss nationals commencing academic courses in England from August 2021 will no longer be charged the same tuition rates as UK students.

Tuition fees for students are reviewed annually and may increase in subsequent years in line with inflation linked to the Retail Price Index (RPI) to take account of the University’s increased costs of delivering the Programme. Any such increase shall always be in accordance with the law. When undertaking a placement year, a placement year fee applies.

Scholarships

At Aston University we are committed to supporting the most talented and hardworking students to achieve their potential by providing a range of scholarships to help lower tuition and living costs.

Assessment

You will be assessed through a combination of written and oral examinations, class tests, individual and group coursework, projects, presentations and practical assessments.

Career prospects

The transferable skills that our finance programmes provide mean that our graduates are successful in finding employment in a wide range of roles such as:

  • Fund manager
  • Banker
  • Operations executive
  • Commercial accountant
  • Investment banking analyst
  • Financial analyst
  • Financial consultant
  • Foreign investment specialist
  • Auditor

Our graduates have gone on to work at companies such as J.P.Morgan Chase, Deloitte, Deutsche Bank, Ernst and Young, GE Healthcare, Industrial Commerical Bank of China, JDX Consulting, Morgan Stanley, Infosys and Amazon.

Paras Khistriya MSc Finance graduate

Persistence pays

Paras Khistriya proves that hard work pays off, advising others to “keep going until you hit the jackpot and always have positive people around you”.

Our graduates achieve amazing things all over the world – whether it’s setting up their own businesses, landing jobs with high profile organisations, or making real differences within their communities.

Hear from our graduates

 

Alumni

Be part of our community

Once you have joined us at Aston University, you’ll always be part of our community, even beyond graduation.

Frequently asked questions

Why study Finance and Economics at Aston University?

Studying Finance and Economics at Aston University is a gateway to mastering the complex interplay between financial markets and the global economy. The course, delivered by the triple-accredited Aston Business School, expertly combines rigorous economic theory with practical financial insights. You'll engage in an immersive learning experience, featuring real-world case studies and the latest economic research, fostering a deep understanding of both disciplines.

The programme is structured to enhance your analytical and decision-making skills, crucial for navigating today's dynamic economic landscapes. With opportunities for internships and international study, you'll gain practical experience that extends beyond traditional classroom learning.

This blend of theoretical knowledge and real-world application equips you for diverse career paths in economics, finance, government and international organisations. As an Aston University graduate, you'll emerge with the skills and insights needed to make a significant impact in the financial world.

What is the ‘Aston Global Advantage’?

Embedded in all our masters degrees, this assessed, year-long credit-bearing module aims to develop professional and personal transferrable skills relevant to any workplace and create a bridge between the degree and the world of work.

The Aston Global Advantage

Why should I study my postgraduate degree at Aston University?

There are lots of benefits of studying a postgraduate degree at Aston University.

Watch this video from MBA student, Monique, who talks about just a few of them:

Is Birmingham a good place to study?

Our campus is based in the centre of Birmingham, the youngest major city in Europe and a great place to live, work and study.

  • Great music and entertainment with a vibrant nightlife. Bars, clubs, pubs, live music, festivals, concerts. Whatever your tastes, there's something here for everyone.
  • Fantastic food. Birmingham's diverse community means you can try anything from the famous Balti triangle, the Chinese Quarter, high street chains, halal and vegan food, and Michelin-star dining.
  • World-class shopping. The Bullring and Grand Central is a shopper's paradise. From the world's biggest Primark to luxury brands at the Mailbox.
  • Arts and culture. Museums, galleries, theatres, concerts and Birmingham's art collection is as wide as it is impressive - not to be missed.
  • Green, open spaces. One of the greenest cities in Europe, Birmingham has hundreds of publicly accessible parks and green spaces across the city.
  • Sporting action. Birmingham has some of the most exciting venues for watching or participating in sport in the UK.

Discover Birmingham

What will my timetable look like?

We understand how important it is to know your timetable in advance for planning around work, childcare, or other responsibilities. Here's some basic guidance on what to expect regarding your student timetable.

Full-time programmes
As a rough estimate, full-time postgraduate students in the College of Business and Social Sciences should expect to spend about 12-15 hours per week in lectures and on-campus seminars. This is in addition to independent study, and there may be additional guided learning activities during certain weeks. The exact distribution of these hours will vary depending on your course and module choices.
Part-time programmes
Part-time students will have fewer weekly on-campus hours compared to full-time students. This reduction is proportional to the number of modules you're enrolled in.
Timetable availability
Complete timetables are usually released shortly before the start of your programme. This timing is necessary to ensure that we accommodate all course requirements and that rooms are allocated based on the number of students likely to enrol on each programme. We aim to provide these timetables as early as possible, to assist you in your planning.

As your induction week approaches, you will be sent more information about your timetable via email, and you will be able to access your timetable by logging into MyAstonPortal. For any further queries or information regarding your timetable, you can reach out to your programme director or the Student Support team.

Online/distance learning programmes
The above information also applies to students enrolled in online/distance learning programmes. Please note that both full-time and part-time distance learning students are still required to attend scheduled synchronous learning sessions.

MyAstonPortal

What can I get involved in at Aston Business School?

At Aston Business School, you will dive into a dynamic blend of innovative learning and hands-on experiences. With our acclaimed triple-crown accreditation, we offer you academic excellence and a track record of producing successful graduates.

Located in Birmingham, the UK's vibrant second city, Aston Business School provides you with a culturally rich environment and superb connectivity. You will benefit from real-world business engagements, international study opportunities and entrepreneur support programmes like BSEEN and Pitchfest.

You can also engage in practical consultancy at the Aston Business Clinic and collaborate with global peers in events such as the Maastricht Case Competition or the Universities Business Challenge. Our partnership with The Prince’s Trust, alongside a range of student clubs including TEDx and Enactus further enriches your learning experience.

Discover more

Say Hello to students at Aston University

Hello, what would you like to ask us?

Hello! We are a team of current Aston University students from various parts of the world, studying a wide range of postgraduate subjects.

Feel free to ask us anything about studying at Aston University.

Chat to our students

 

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